Author Archives: Lani Willmar

Yang, Jeffrey

by Jaehyun Jeong (2015) YANG, JEFFREY (1974-) Jeffrey Yang is an American poet, translator, and editor best known for his books of poetry An Aquarium (2008) and Vanishing-Line (2011). Born in Escondido, California, Yang attended the University of California San Diego. With an initial interest Continue reading & text links

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Williams, Tennessee

WILLIAMS, TENNESSEE [THOMAS LANIER] (1911-1983). Winner of four New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards and two Pulitzer Prizes for his plays, Tennessee Williams is most identified with the American South. He was born in Mississippi and spent his early childhood Continue reading & text links

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White, E. B.

WHITE, E[LWYN]. B[ROOKS]. (1899-1983). Best known for his articles in The New Yorker and his children’s books, E. B. White reflected significantly upon his relationship with the sea in two important essays, “The Years of Wonder” and “The Sea and Continue reading & text links

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Warner, William W.

WARNER, WILLIAM W[HITESIDES]. (1920-2008). Naturalist-author William W. Warner was born in New York City. From 1944 to 1946, he served in the U.S. Navy, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant, junior grade, and was awarded a Navy Commendation Continue reading & text links

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Walcott, Derek

WALCOTT, DEREK [ALTON] (1930-2017). Winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in literature, Derek Walcott identifies in his life and work two primary inspirations: the Caribbean Sea and his mixed-race heritage. Born and raised in the harbor city of Castries, St. Continue reading & text links

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Snider, Charles Henry Jeremiah

SNIDER, CHARLES HENRY JEREMIAH (1879-1971). A Canadian born in Sherwood, Ontario, Charles Snider first sailed the Great Lakes at age eleven and later worked in its merchant marine. During a fifty-year career at the Toronto Telegram, Snider researched, explored, and Continue reading & text links

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Hurlbut, Frances B.

HURLBUT, FRANCES [BRINDEL] (1842?-1892). Orphaned by age nine, Frances Hurlbut, nee Brindel, left Pennsylvania for Newport (now Marine City), Michigan, to live with her aunt, Emily Ward. Hurlbut’s only publication, Grandmother’s Stories (1889), recounts Aunt Emily’s tales of their pioneer Continue reading & text links

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Hine, Ephraim Curtiss

HINE, EPHRAIM CURTISS (1818?-1853). Sailor and author raised in Genoa, New York, Ephraim Curtiss Hine is best known today as the model for the nautical poet Lemsford in Herman Melville’s novel White-Jacket (1850). Melville, who was Hine’s shipmate on the Continue reading & text links

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Hemingway, Ernest Miller

HEMINGWAY, ERNEST MILLER (1899-1961). Ernest Hemingway, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction (1952) and the Nobel Prize in literature (1954), grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. Except when rough water forced them to go by train, he and his Continue reading & text links

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Hart, Joseph C.

HART, JOSEPH C. (1798-1855). A New Yorker whose mother’s family came from Nantucket Island, Joseph C. Hart is known today as the author of Miriam Coffin, or The Whale-Fishermen (1834), a novel that was an important source for Moby-Dick (1851). Continue reading & text links

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Hallet, Richard Matthews

HALLET, RICHARD MATTHEWS (1887-1967). In 1912, at age twenty-five and with both a B.A. and LL.B. from Harvard University, Richard Matthews Hallet abandoned the practice of law in search of adventure and a career as a sea-writer. A New Englander Continue reading & text links

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Hale, Edward Everett

HALE, EDWARD EVERETT (1822-1909). Born in Boston, Edward Everett Hale belonged to an old New England family. His great-uncle, Captain Nathan Hale, uttered the memorable cry, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country,” Continue reading & text links

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Green, Paul

GREEN, PAUL [ELIOT] (1894-1981). A prolific playwright and poet whose literary career spanned several decades and genres, Paul Green is remembered chiefly for his dramatizations of southern folklore and customs and the plight of the African American in particular, in Continue reading & text links

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Gould, John W.

GOULD, JOHN W. (1814-1838). John W. Gould was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the seventh son of influential judge and educator James Gould. He was christened “John Gould” but added the middle initial “W.” in 1835 to avoid confusion. Gould’s health Continue reading & text links

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Gilkerson, William

GILKERSON, WILLIAM (1936-2015). William Gilkerson wrote nine books, most of which relate directly to maritime history. His first book, Gilkerson on War–From Rocks to Rockets (1964), is an exception, as it only touches upon maritime history in the larger context Continue reading & text links

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Gardner, John

GARDNER, JOHN [CHAMPLIN] (1933-1982). The son of a dairy farmer, John Gardner had no important personal connection with the sea. Indeed, his maritime novella, The King’s Indian (1972, in a volume of the same name), a modern Ancient Mariner story Continue reading & text links

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Gann, Ernest K.

GANN, ERNEST K[ELLOGG]. (1910-1991). Known primarily for his books in the field of aviation literature, Ernest K. Gann wrote about seafaring in Twilight for the Gods (1956) and Song of the Sirens (1968). Twilight for the Gods is an engaging Continue reading & text links

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Galloway, Les

GALLOWAY, LES [EDWARD WILLIAM] (1919-1990). A commercial fisherman for most of his life, Les Galloway also wrote fiction, publishing short sea stories in several periodicals. Of Great Spaces (1987), shared with Jerome Gold, collects and reprints five Galloway stories, the Continue reading & text links

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Gallery, Daniel V.

GALLERY, DANIEL V[INCENT]. (1901-1977). Admiral Daniel V. Gallery, termed a “true original” by his friend Herman Wouk, was a brilliant career naval officer who published widely both during and after his naval duty. A 1920 Naval Academy graduate, Gallery first Continue reading & text links

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Fanning, Nathaniel

FANNING, NATHANIEL (1755-1805). Nathaniel Fanning’s Narrative of the Adventures of an American Navy Officer (1806) is one of the most reliable, graphic, and extensive eyewitness accounts of the famous battle between the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis. Following the four-hour Continue reading & text links

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Eiseley, Loren

EISELEY, LOREN C[OREY]. (1907-1977). Loren C. Eiseley, anthropologist, educator, and author, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. He collected fossils as a child and began speculating on the evolution of humankind and the universe. His early books, The Immense Journey (1957) Continue reading & text links

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Dickey, James

DICKEY, JAMES [LAFAYETTE] (1923-1997). James Dickey, noted poet, novelist, and critic, was born in Atlanta, Georgia. During World War II, he served in a night-fighter squadron in the South Pacific. In the late 1940s he attended Vanderbilt University, during which Continue reading & text links

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Desrosiers, Leo-Paul

DESROSIERS, LEO-PAUL (1896-1967). Leo-Paul Desrosiers was born in Berthier-en-Haut, Quebec, a village on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River northeast of Montreal. His happy childhood provided him with material for his first work, Ames et Paysages (1922), and a Continue reading & text links

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Dean, Harry

DEAN, HARRY [FOSTER] (1864-1935). Published in 1929 in Boston, Berlin, and London, Harry Dean’s unique sea narrative and remarkable autobiography was entitled Umbala in Britain and The Pedro Gorino in the United States. Dean was born in Philadelphia in 1864, Continue reading & text links

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Cozzens, James Gould

COZZENS, JAMES GOULD (1903-1979). Born in Chicago, James Gould Cozzens lived for a time on Staten Island. Educated at the Kent School and at Harvard, he left college after completing a first work,Confusion: a Novel (1924). After several immature novels, Cozzens Continue reading & text links

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Colcord, Joanna Carver

COLCORD, JOANNA CARVER (1882-1960). Born aboard the Charlotte A. Littlefield, a vessel commanded by her father, Joanna Carver Colcord spent her first eighteen years at sea. She went ashore to attend the University of Maine and graduated in 1906 with a Continue reading & text links

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Coker, Daniel

COKER, DANIEL (1780-1846). The son of a white servant and a black slave, Daniel Coker was born in Maryland as Isaac Wright, changing his name when he escaped to New York. After buying his freedom, he moved to Baltimore to Continue reading & text links

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Carson, Rachel

CARSON, RACHEL [LOUISE] (1907-1964). Though Rachel Carson’s fame as an environmental writer rests on the warnings about pesticide pollution in her last book, Silent Spring (1962), her previous three books on the sea established her reputation. Under the Sea Wind: A Naturalist’s Picture Continue reading & text links

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Carse, Robert

CARSE, ROBERT (1902-1971). A Great Lakes sailor at seventeen, Robert Carse later worked salt water, attaining the position of chief mate. He sailed most of the world and developed a reputation as an expert seaman and maritime historian. Carse claimed Continue reading & text links

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Calvin, Jack

CALVIN, JACK (1901-1985). Jack Calvin was well acquainted with the Pacific coast from Monterey north. His first two novels, Square-Rigged (1929) and Fisherman 28 (1930), are based on his experience sailing from San Francisco to the Bering Sea. After leaving his position as a Continue reading & text links

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Brooks, Kenneth F., Jr.

BROOKS, KENNETH F., JR (1921- ). Kenneth F. Brooks Jr., a decorated World War II pilot living near Washington, D.C., spent his childhood summers on his uncle’s sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay and continues to sail. In Run to the Lee (1965) Continue reading & text links

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Blatchford, John

BLATCHFORD, JOHN (1762-1794). John Blatchford’s account of his voyages is one of the more extraordinary sea narratives from the American Revolution. First published in 1788 and soon republished in at least half a dozen other editions, Blatchford’s Narrative of Remarkable Occurrences Continue reading & text links

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Beston, Henry

BESTON [SHEAHAN], HENRY (1888-1968). Born Henry Boston Sheahan in Quincy, Massachusetts, Henry Beston is the author of about a dozen books, including The Outermost House. A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod (1928). In 1925 Beston built a Continue reading & text links

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Barth, John

BARTH, JOHN [SUMMONS] (1930- ). There is a great deal of water in the fiction of John Barth, as one would expect of a writer who was born in Cambridge on the eastern shore of Maryland, was educated at Johns Continue reading & text links

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